Citrus Rice Salad

May 28th, 2015

Herbed Rice Salad 1

When summer arrives I prefer salads rather than hot side dishes.  We grilled a Tuscan butterflied chicken recently and rather than my usual rice, I turned the rice into a citrus laced salad with fresh herbs from my herb boxes on the deck.  I think I threw everything into that salad.  I had left over diced red onions and peppers, a half empty jar of roasted red peppers, a can of mandarin oranges, and toasted almonds.  With a lemon-lime vinaigrette it was tangy and refreshing.

Herbed Rice Salad 3V

The Butterflied Tuscan chicken was also good, but it was not very photogenic.  But if you are interested this is the recipe that I used.  I added more herbs though, since my herb boxes are doing so well.

Herbs on Deck 1

The sage and thyme are looking wonderful so far.  I bought a special organic potting soil mix that is supposed to hold the moisture better than others.

Herbs on Deck 2

I get my plants from a local shop.  They are inexpensive and always healthy.

Herbs on Deck 3We added two more boxes this year, so now I have four conveniently  located herb containers.  It makes cooking with fresh herbs much easier.

Herbed Rice Salad 2

This rice salad is best served at room temperature, but it is also good chilled.  You can get creative with it too.  It goes well with anything that you grill.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup white rice ( or any rice that you prefer, cooked according to package directions)
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 1/2 cups water
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 tsp cardamom, optional

4 scallions chopped
Jarred roasted red peppers, chopped
small can of mandarin oranges, drained
1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
Zest of 1 orange
chopped herbs to taste; basil, parsley, chives

Juice on one lime and one lemon
1/4 cup olive oil

In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil.  Add the rice, onion and green pepper and cook briefly to coat the rice.  Add the orange juice, water and seasonings.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover the pan and cook until rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, combine the additions in a large bowl.  When rice is done, add it to the bowl.  Cool slightly.  Add the vinaigrette ingredients and toss to combine.

Printable Recipe



Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad

April 11th, 2015

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad 1

Mexican meals are so easy.  The ingredients are predictable; taco seasonings, cheese, sour cream, avocado, black beans, tortillas and tomatoes.  We have had a few warm days and a refreshing Mexican salad sounded like a great idea.  I found an excellent recipe in a Cooking Light cookbook.  It has a creamy dressing made with chipotle chile, lime juice, cilantro, seasonings and light sour cream that mellows the heat from the chiles.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad 2V

The salad ingredients are simple.  You could use a rotisserie chicken if time is short.  But I had two boneless chicken breasts that I dusted with taco seasonings and sauteed until cooked through.  Also in the mix to dress the lettuce are red onions, cherry tomatoes, avocado, black beans and corn.  I served a few corn chips on the side to be crumbled over the salad.

We are making progress on the cottage.  It makes me nervous when my surroundings are in chaos.  I like to be in control and am easily overwhelmed by the need to do everything at once when things are in disarray.  But I saw the light of day (literally) earlier this week and spent a sunny day with my blogging buddy Penny of the Comforts of Home.  We antiqued. . . . . . .

Screen Door 2015 1

It is always fun to visit The Screen Door in Asheville.  Love this vignette.  I am thinking of using chalk paint to transform one of my dressers like the one shown here.

Screen Door 2015 2

This is one of my favorite booths.  Lots of French linens, topiaries and antique posters.  After antiquing we dined . . . .

Fig 2015 1


It is a rite of passage for us to have lunch at our favorite French Bistro “Fig”.  We always try to eat on the patio.  The green grass is such a welcoming sight after a grey winter.  As is that lovely glass of Riesling.

Fig 2015 2

What a luncheon feast.  The other Penny (TOP) had PEI mussels with steak frites.  I had chicken schnitzel with white beans and greens in a flavorful red sauce.  We caught up with everything that has happened since we last saw each other last season.  It was a fun day under the warming sun.

Chipotle Chicken Taco Salad 3

Hopefully we will all be experiencing warmer weather soon.  This salad is a good way to sit back and enjoy it.

CHIPOTLE CHICKEN TACO SALAD (Cooking Light; the Essential Dinner Tonight Cookbook )

2/3 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced chipotle chile, canned in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 cups shredded romaine lettuce
2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breast (about 2 breast halves)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, cooked and cooled

To prepare dressing, combine first 7 ingredients, stirring well.

To prepare salad, combine lettuce and remaining 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Drizzle dressing over salad; toss gently to coat.  4 servings.

Printable Recipe

Warm Avocado and Corn Salad

July 13th, 2014

Avocado and Corn Dish 6 H


I have been missing in action for a while I know.  The family is here for a two week visit and we have been spending our time on the water, at the park and activities in Asheville.  We have been doing a lot of cooking but I have been too distracted to take pictures.  Last night my DIL Kristen made a Southwestern feast with chicken and bean tacos, guacamole, Mexican rice and this warm avocado and corn salad.

Avocado and Corn Salad 4CV


Friends of our kids are here with their three children for a few days.  Christobal is a well known wedding photographer and took the above picture for me.  We were working with incandescent lighting but his impressive camera compensated well.

Avocado and Corn Dish 3C


Kristen used fresh sweet corn, ripe avocados, green onions and cilantro in this refreshing warm salad.  It was delicious with the tacos.  I am entering this salad in the Food 52 avocado recipe contest that is going on right now.  You may want to go to their site for some very interesting avocado recipes.

Avocado and Corn Dish 5C




5 ears of corn, kernels removed from cob
3 to 4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts separated
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of 1 lime
2 large avocados, cubed
Optional additions; 4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled, smoked paprika, or pickled red onions

Heat butter and olive oil in skillet.  Add corn kernels and white parts of the green onions and cook for about 7 minutes.  Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.  Add the juice of the lime and remove from heat.  Add the cubed avocados.  Transfer to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the green parts of the green onion and serve.  This is especially good with the addition of crumbled crisp bacon.

Printable recipe


Black Bean and Corn Salad

June 20th, 2014

Black Bean Salad 1


With the 4th of July approaching, I am experimenting with various salads to be served with grilled meat.  I love this recipe for it’s simplicity and fresh summer flavors.  We usually host the family for the Labor Day Weekend, but this year everyone is coming for the Independence Day Weekend.

Boathouse Pic


There is nothing we enjoy more than watching the lakeside activities of the family.  A few of the younger children have yet to summon enough courage to jump from the top of the boathouse.  Perhaps this will be the year.  It is a rite of passage.

Black Bean Salad 3V


I love this black bean and corn salad because it easy to pull together.  It uses canned black beans and frozen corn kernels, although fresh corn would be perfect with it.  It has a lime and cilantro vinaigrette.  It can be made ahead of time, but I would suggest that you add the avocado at the last minute.  It will be perfect with grilled hamburgers and hot dogs.

BLACK BEAN AND CORN SALAD ( Food Network Magazine )

1/4 Cup Olive Oil
2 teaspoons honey
3 limes, juiced
2 15 oz. cans black beans, rinsed
1 cup corn kernels
1 diced red or orange bell pepper
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

1 diced avocado

Whisk together the oil, honey and lime juice.  Toss with the remaining ingredients except avocado.  When ready to serve, peel and dice the avocado and add to the salad.  Toss to combine.

Printable Recipe

Re-inventing Ina’s Curried Couscous

February 18th, 2014

Curried Couscous 3


Okay.  Everyone says you should plate your food in a white bowl so that it shines on its own.  Today I did not do that because the only bowl I could get to was this one.  I think Ina’s couscous looks just fine in a colorful bowl.  I am having some issues right now.  My kitchen is out of service due to a major leak under the sink.  David is working on it, but it has turned into a long, long …. process.

Curried Couscous David


I have been washing dishes in the bathroom and trying to avoid his work area.  That is one of the reasons that Ina’s couscous sounded like a good choice for dinner; minimal sink time and easy cooking.  What makes it different from the original recipe is the use of Israeli couscous. Israeli couscous is larger and alternately called pearled couscous. I have paired the couscous dish with my Apricot Chicken, which is another easy recipe.  Just put it in the oven on a foil lined baking pan and you are done.  I have broccoli ready to steam on the stove and dinner will be ready.  My kitchen is a mess, but at least we will eat well.

Curried Couscous 1


I kinda think this looks like a work of art, but then I am probably a little punchy from cooking on the fly.  Hopefully dinner will be good.  David is still under the sink.  I have done my best and so has he.  Unfortunately, the work will continue for a while.  Take-out tomorrow night sounds like a good idea.


1 1/2 cups Israeli couscous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup small-diced red onion

Melt the butter in the boiling water and add the couscous. Cover tightly and cook the couscous on low for 8 to 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Place couscous in a large bowl.

Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature.

Printable recipe


© Penny Klett, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen. All rights reserved.